Nokia beats 80 mln services users target: sources

By @ibtimes on

The world's top cellphone maker, Nokia, has 86 million users for its Internet services, beating a target of 80 million set for the end of 2009, sources with direct knowledge of the data told Reuters.

A Nokia spokesman declined to confirm the data, which was visible on large TV screens in Nokia's corporate locations.

Nokia, which is looking for new revenues from online services as its traditional handset market matures, aims to reach 300 million services users by the end of 2011, generating annual revenues of 2 billion euros ($2.89 billion).

Niklas Savander, head of the services business at the firm, said last month he was more confident about reaching the 2 billion euro sales target than a year earlier.

With the number of customers Nokia has globally it is not a problem to get millions of customers who do not pay. The problem is to get millions of paying customers, said John Strand, chief executive of Danish consultancy Strand Consult.

Some 1.1 billion people around the world use Nokia phones.

Unlike Apple or Google, Nokia has little direct engagement with its users. Increasing its communication and interaction with consumers is critical, said Ben Wood, head of research at CCS Insight.

Nokia's services push encountered strong headwinds last year, with a series of failures including a disastrous launch of its Ovi stores in May and the decision to close its gaming service in October.

Nokia said in late 2008 it expects music and navigation, each, to create around one third of services revenues, while other offerings in total would create the remaining third.

Nokia counts every consumer who has used once any of its services during six months period as an active user.

(Editing by John Stonestreet and Sharon Lindores)

($1=.6920 Euro)

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